Wildfires continue to rage in Lake and Yolo counties

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Firefighters faced strong shifting winds Sunday as they battled the three-county County fire and continued to fight the eight-day-old Pawnee fire in Lake County.

The two wildfires grew, with the new County fire that broke out in the grasslands of the Capay Valley in Yolo County Saturday afternoon spreading into rural eastern Napa and Lake counties.

Cal Fire said the Yolo fire, officially named the County fire, had burned through 22,000 acres by Sunday morning and was at zero containment. By 8 p.m., it had grown to 32,500 acres and was 2 percent contained.

The fire had spread over Blue Ridge in the Mount Vaca area of Napa County, but remained in the wildland and had taken no structures, Cal Fire spokesman Will Powers said.

Firefighters worked through the day to create control lines, though weather conditions remained critical. Shifting winds were a major concern, Cal Fire officials said.

The Pawnee fire, which has been scorching rural Lake County since June 23, grew to 14,500 acres by Sunday night. The Lake County Sheriff’s Department said the blaze had the potential to move south because of weather conditions.

Cal Fire reported the Pawnee fire was 75 percent contained on Sunday night.

The fire has destroyed a total of 22 structures and continues to threaten 50.

Northerly winds blew smoke from the Pawnee fire into Sonoma County over the weekend, putting people who survived the wildfires of October in Santa Rosa and the Sonoma Valley on edge. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office tried to calm fears by sending out advisories that there was no threat in Sonoma County.

In Lake County, 200 residents of the Double Eagle subdivision were still under mandatory evacuation with the area south of Highway 20 to Morgan Valley Road under an evacuation advisory.

Mule Skinner Road at Highway 20; Walker Ridge Road at Highway 20, and Highway 20 between Highway 16 and Highway 53 in Lake County still are closed.

An evacuation center has been set up at the Guinda Grange Hall in the tiny town of Guinda, 16487 Forest Ave. Meanwhile, an American Red Cross shelter that opened to support evacuees from the Double Eagle area closed Sunday after no residents stayed Saturday night.

Cal Fire said 116 structures are threatened by Yolo’s County Fire as it sears through farmland. Mandatory evacuations are in effect north of Highway 128 east of Lake Berryessa; south of Road 23, east of Berryessa-Knoxville Road in Napa County and west of County Road 89.

An evacuation advisory also were levied for the areas north of Quail Canyon Road, south of Highway 128, east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and west of Pleasant Valley Road.

More than 2,400 fire personnel and 123 fire engines remain in Lake County on the Pawnee fire, while about 1,200 personnel and 119 engines were on the County fire lines.

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at meg.mcconahey@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5204. You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

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